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The games we all play.
Start date: Jul 20, 2015, End date: Feb 19, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A society cannot truly move forward when there are groups of people within that society who are socially excluded. Social exclusion contributes to increased unemployment, poverty, lack of community involvement, low self esteem, lack of civic responsibility and many other negative influences. Young people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds are particularly susceptible to social exclusion. One way in which to combat social exclusion is through non-competitive games and sports. This project was a cooperation between youth organisations in the UK, Russia, Turkey and Belarus addressing the issue of increasing social inclusion among young people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds through non-competitive sports and games. We held the 12-day Youth Exchange in Russia with 16 representatives from each partner country. As a result of participation in the Project and acquisition of the planned competences the young people were awarded Youthpass certificates (European recognition tools for non-formal and informal learning in youth work). The Project created a group of young motivated peer leaders that developed their skills and competences aiming to promote community involvement and social inclusion of young people form immigrant and refugee backgrounds through non-competitive sports and games. We also spread our findings and knowledge further to other youth organisations active with the issues of practicing peer education as a tool to promote social inclusion and increase the skill level and competences of young people. The following working methods were used during the Youth Exchange: - theoretical inputs on various aspects of communication, information and ICL and exercises (simulations, consensus and confrontation exercises, workgroups, etc.); - presentations of best practices; - role play and simulation exercises; - workshops on management of a peer group, inter-cultural communication and on peer communication; “Open Space” method; - using the “Theatre of the Oppressed” method; - use of SALTO toolkits, flash mob presentations, and presentation of the Erasmus+ Programme with a special focus on new developments and opportunities for cooperation between the partners on the project’s theme. The impact and results of this Mobility Project are the identification and acknowledgment of the issue of social exclusion affecting youth from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, concrete solutions to address these problems through non-competitive sports and games, the active promotion of these solutions with continued refinement through feedback and communication, dissemination of the results to include a wider and wider audience, and sustainment of these practices via support through youth leaders, communities, and partner organisations. This project gave the young participants an opportunity to organise informal activities for their peers and local community, while accepting feedback on the chosen methodology. The skills learned in this exchange are not only applicable in addressing social inclusion but can be expanded to form a broader base for life learning experiences in general allowing for improvement in knowledge, skills, thought processes, engagement in active citizenship, volunteering, inter-cultural dialogue, inter-cultural tolerance, and increased communication skills. These long-term, synergistic benefits will help to propel forward a more inclusive and better attitude towards active citizen participation throughout Europe and the surrounding countries.

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